Family enjoying clean air in Phoenix AZ

How Do UV Light Indoor Air Quality Products Work?

Although you can do a lot to improve the health of you and your family, those efforts could be in vain if you don’t carefully control the quality of your Glendale home’s indoor air. With countless contaminants in indoor air at any given time, it’s important to understand what’s in your home’s indoor air and your options for improving your home’s air quality. One unique option to help clean the air in your home is to use UV light purifiers from Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical. To better understand what these devices are and why they’re helpful, check out the following guide.

Types of Indoor Germs

Indoor environments, such as homes, are unique breeding grounds for a variety of harmful contaminants. When a family member is sick, their germs can easily spread to other family members in the enclosed confines of a home. Plus, the warm and often moist air in a home provides the perfect environment for many types of germs to reproduce. Bacteria, including Staphylococci, Bacilli, Clostridium, and MRSA, can all be found in the indoor air in certain homes. Mold is another major contaminant that can proliferate within your home. This contaminant is especially prominent in moist environments, including around your air conditioner’s evaporator coil. Viruses of all types are also present in indoor air.

Potential Risks of Breathing Contaminated Air

The potential side effects of breathing contaminated indoor air are many and varied. Coughing, sneezing, vomiting, a sore throat or runny nose, headaches, and dizziness are all mild side effects that you may experience. More serious side effects, including permanent organ damage, loss of cognitive ability, and even death, can also result from exposure to certain indoor germs. While these more serious side effects are rare, it’s still important to take your home’s indoor air quality seriously.

Types of UV Light Purifiers

There are two main types of UV light purifiers that Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical install in residential settings. The first type is called a coil sterilization system. This system is specifically designed to prevent mold and bacteria from growing on your air conditioner’s evaporator coil. This dark, warm, and moist environment is the perfect place for various contaminants to grow. If they do, they will quickly disperse around your home as air blows over the coil on its way to your ducts. A coil sterilizer keeps your coil free from contaminants so that you can stop germs at the source.

The other type of UV light purifier is designed for use as part of a whole-home air purifier. Typically, a UV light purifier is the last stage in an air purifier, killing germs in the air as the air flows past. When combined with the mechanical and chemical filtration found in the other purifier stages, you can be confident in the quality of air that’s released into your home.

How UV Light Purifiers Work

Bacteria and mold are living organisms. Like other living organisms, bacteria and mold will suffer permanent cell damage if exposed to high amounts of radiation. Radiation causes cell death in these microorganisms to the point that they are inactivated, resulting in totally harmless particles that can’t reproduce or cause any illness. The UV light is provided by purpose-made UV lamps. By filtering out the other portions of the visible light spectrum, a UV light can deliver large doses of radiation in a short amount of time.

Important Maintenance for Your Purifier

To maintain the germ-fighting benefits of your UV light purifier, it’s important that Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical maintains it on a regular basis. The main focus of purifier maintenance is replacing your light bulbs when their germ-fighting capabilities are exhausted. This will generally happen after about a year of constant use. This means that you can have the bulbs replaced during a normal HVAC maintenance visit from Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical. To ensure maximum effectiveness of the bulbs, you’ll need to dust them every few months so that the light radiation can be correctly concentrated.

Other Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

To do the most to help protect your family from germs, it’s important to take a multi-tiered approach to help improve your home’s indoor air quality. One of the most important parts of limiting germs is to have Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical clean your ducts every few years. Clean ducts help prevent dust accumulation that can lead to mold growth. You can also improve your home’s indoor air quality by having lots of different plants around your home. Plants absorb contaminants and release pure oxygen.

Ongoing Costs

When you install a UV light purifier, it’s important to consider the ongoing costs of operating the purifier. The main cost you’ll have is replacing the UV bulbs. As mentioned, you’ll want to replace the bulbs about once a year. You’ll also need to account for the cost of electricity to run the bulbs consistently. It’s important to have the bulbs on at all times when your HVAC system is running so that any air that flows through will be sterilized. If you have a coil purifier, it will need to run even more often. Ultimately, though, these ongoing costs pale in comparison to the benefits you’ll receive from a UV light purifier from Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical.

Safety Precautions

Radiation from UV lights is not something to play around with. Exposure to UV radiation can cause skin cancer, eye damage, and many other problems. Therefore, it’s important to cut power to the UV bulbs before dusting the bulbs as part of normal maintenance. Additionally, when your light purifier is installed, it’s important to make sure to choose a trusted contractor, such as Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical, to ensure that the purifier is installed correctly with the proper amount of shielding.

Proper Filtering

If you’re not quite ready to commit to a UV light purifier, there’s another option for effective filtering of certain types of germs. An air filter with a high MERV rating can capture tiny particles that can contribute to various illnesses. Although it’s not quite as effective as a UV light purifier, an air filter is easier to install and requires less commitment on the part of the homeowner. At Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical, we recommend an inspection of your HVAC system if you choose this option to ensure your system is properly equipped to handle the reduced airflow that comes along with a tightly wound filter.

Keeping Our Community Healthy

At Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical, we take pride in keeping our community healthy. That’s why we’re proud to install a variety of indoor air quality equipment in customers’ homes. We can also clean your ducts, repair, maintain, and install furnaces and air conditioners, perform wiring repair, install LED lighting, replace water heaters, perform hydrojetting, and much more. With countless five-star reviews to our name, you can be confident in our ability to get the job done correctly. To learn more about indoor air quality, contact us at Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical today.